Four members of Save Our Forest Team – Comox Valley (SOFT-CV) hand-delivered a letter to Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard’s office on April 5, citing the lack of public consultation regarding old-growth logging on the North Island.
“We are here to show our support for our friends up-Island, who have been requesting an end to all old-growth logging on their First Nations territory for the last number of years, and the province continues to ignore them,” said Megan Ardyche, of SOFT-CV. “So what we are presenting to Ronna-Rae Leonard is the letter that the Kwakiutl First Nation has sent to Minister of Forests, Bruce Ralston, and we have a letter of support for them, as their friends, asking Ronna-Rae Leonard to deliver our letter to the minister as well.”
The SOFT-CV representatives arrived at Leonard’s office to find the doors locked. An office employee eventually opened the door to explain that Leonard was not in, and accepted the letter on Leonard’s behalf.
The original letter from the Kwakiutl First Nation is signed by 15 members of the Nation, including Hereditary Chief David Knox.
“The current deal, if allowed to continue their path of destruction will leave nothing for our children’s future,” the letter reads, in part. “Failure to act at this time will result in the Kwakiutl families and their allies occupying the homeland through the enforcement of the Douglas Treaties and the manifestation of our fundamental human rights as Indigenous People – right to land, right to water, right to forest, right to village sites and enclosed fields, and the right to respect and dignity.”
The following is the letter in its entirety: